Wagering was absolutely through the roof over the three days of live racing last weekend at the Meadowlands.
Objectively, the comparable weekend in 2012 was compromised by the only significant snowstorm of last winter. However, the total wagered from all sources on M1 races was $8,184,843 a whopping 29 percent increase from last year. To gain more perspective, the 2013 total was also 28 percent higher than like dates for 2011 and on par with 2010.
"It appears that the changes we made to our wagering format and racing product are continuing to work. Initially, the biggest gains were in our export. Now we have turned our attention to enhancing our live racing experience and the numbers this past weekend reflected that," said racing operations manager Darin Zoccali.
"We have put forth great promotions including 'Captaintreacherous' where already over 1,600 entries have been placed to win a share of the pacer of the year. In the immediate future the Meadowlands racing fans will continue to see enhanced promotion for our live product.
"This Saturday we will be rolling out our $2 Daily Double Promotion, where racing fans that purchase a live program will receive a free $2 wager on a Meadowlands Daily Double."
Throughout the cards, the pools were high and the prices fair. Newcomer Eric Carlson delivered another bomb on Thursday returning $114.80 with Ladybones then spun right back and paid $23 in the next race with Palm's Beach,resulting ina Pick 4 payoff of $27,000.
A valuableinformational link from The Meadowlands website is the TrackMaster product StatsMasterwhich offers statistics on all horses, trainers and drivers for the meet and has various sort features.
For example, although Yannick Gingras is the defending dash champ, drives first call for top barn the Burke stable and is certainly a fan favorite at The M, his current Return On Investment (ROI) is a remarkable +30 percent (a 30 percent return on win bets). The 2012 USHWA Driver of the Year Tim Tetrick, on the other hand, is currently sporting a ROI of -64 percent.
Early dash leader Dave Miller has been on some roll and is currently six wins up on Gingras from an equal number of starts. His ROI is just about flat at -1 percent.
Trainer-wise, Ron Burke leads with 11 wins from 78 starts and sends out many heavily bet entries. Revisiting the StatsMaster information,a great disparity exists between Burke's ROI at -32 percent versus hot starter Nick Surick (six wins from 13 starts) whose ROI is whopping +223 percent.
On the oval, Golden Receiver continues to impress. He dominated 10 rivals in the second leg of the Presidential and should face no serious challenge inthe $103,000 final on Saturday.
More compelling are the Super Bowl and Clyde Hirt finals. The lady trainerswield the powerin the Super Bowl, with Julie Miller's entry of Helios and Windsun Galliano and Jenny Melander's Wisenheimer the strong horses heading into Saturday's $51,000 title bout.
In the Hirt, Holdingallthecards and One Through Ten are on a collision course for the $67,400 final. This shapes up as an interesting betting raceincluding several talented horses with a chance that will be overlooked in favor of the headliners.
New Meadowlands general manager and CEO Jason Settlemoir had this to say, "The racing since the beginning of the meet has been tremendous. The Racing Office led by Pete Koch has done an outstanding job producing races that are competitive and great to watch.
"Our customer service initiatives, such as thedaily promotions, new enhanced Terraces Buffet on Friday and Saturday and free admission and programs on Thursday and Friday have been well received. Those attractions, along with revisions to the wagering format and later post time of 7:15 p.m. are yielding the desired result.
"The handle on the exported signal has been superb and now I can see the on-track handlestarting to turn the corner. I am genuinely excited about the progress we are seeing on most fronts.If we get a little help from Mother Nature, Saturday's cardfeaturing the three series finalspromises tobe outstanding night of racing." (Meadowlands)